Radio Boot Camp provides hands-on experience to students

Journalism sophomore Kayla Samoy and NAU graduate and Arizona Public Media volunteer Courtney Fey interview Espresso Art Café barista Caleb Bruno about construction impacts on University Boulevard businesses. 

Courtney Fey, NAU graduate and Arizona Public Media volunteer, Assistant Professor Jeannine Relly, Kayla Samoy, journalism sophomore, and Arizona Public Media’s Andrea Kelly prepare for an interview at the Islamic Center of Tucson.

Journalism freshman Claire Rifkin, NAU graduate and Arizona Public Media volunteer Courtney Fey and journalism sophomore Kayla Samoy interview Islamic Center of Tucson program volunteer Mohammed Alansary as Assistant Professor Jeannine Relly looks on.

A group of journalism students and faculty received a day’s worth of hands-on training in creating news stories with microphones and editing software during a radio workshop Saturday.

The Radio Boot Camp covered the history of radio, the differences in writing for radio vs. print, techniques for covering spot news as well as features, brainstorming story ideas, field reporting and interviewing, audio recording, software basics and editing, picking quotes and writing scripts and voicing styles.

Thirteen participants – students, faculty and graduates – engaged in the full-day, in-depth radio workshop, created and presented by Arizona Public Media’s Christopher Conover, Fernanda Echavarri and Andrea Kelly.

“This is a crash course in all things radio,” said Kayla Samoy, journalism sophomore who will intern with Arizona Public Media over the summer and during the fall. “I took this course to get a leg up and learn a little more and prepare myself for that. Learning how to write for radio is really different than anything else I have experience in.”The boot camp participants brainstormed campus-area story ideas, breaking into three groups for field reporting and interviews on the impact of area apartment and streetcar construction, business-related stories on the art displayed in a coffee shop and the spike in bar customers during the Final Four and cultural reporting on a heritage festival at the Arizona State Museum.

“If you all were brand new hires, this would be your first day,” Conover said, leading the participants out into the field reporting portion of the workshop.

Echavarri and Kelly, who graduated from the School of Journalism in 2007 and 2005, both began their careers in daily newspaper journalism and said they would have enjoyed the option of taking a radio workshop in college.

“Maybe having a class like this would’ve opened my mind to knowing that I should explore other parts of the profession,” Kelly said. “They’re learning some things that they might not fully understand today. It might take some time to figure out how it fits into their careers.”

Echavarri said one benefit of learning radio journalism is that radio organizations are hiring and new shows that target a younger audience are experiencing success.

“If they turn on the radio tomorrow and hear one of our stories, they will understand it more,” she said.

At the Islamic Center of Tucson, students interviewed program volunteer Mohammed Alansary about how construction of the next-door 14-story Level apartment complex impacts the mosque.

At Espresso Art Café, the participants interviewed students about how the streetcar construction has impacted their transportation to and from class and employees about how the decrease in foot traffic hurt business for a time.

“I’m learning a lot,” said journalism freshman Claire Rifkin. “It will definitely give me a little bit of a head up in my journalism classes in the future.”

Story and photos by Eric Swedlund


Published Date: 

04/08/2013 - 9:33am